West Park 1st XV - Match centre

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17
17
West Park (St Helens)
Orrell
Sat 3 Dec 14:15 - Northern Division - South Lancashire & Cheshire 1

Score Draw

In an error strewn match both sides struggled to cope with their first real taste of winter at a windswept and unforgiving Red Rocks on Saturday.

Significantly West Park's mistakes were in vital positions both in attack and in defence whereas the visitors' errors were in the main in midfield. West Park's recent winning sequence came to an end and so too did a dogged Orrell's losing run, with their equalising try coming in injury time.

Indeed the visitors might have snatched a somewhat unlikely victory, but on a day when goalkicking was much of a lottery their final conversion attempt sailed wide, to sounds of audible relief from Park's hardy spectators sheltering in the stand.

Aided by three Park handling errors in their own '22' Orrell scored first with an unconverted try by lock Phil Clarke, before Park mauled their way to the visitors line where scrum half Danny Green scored, a try which again went unconverted. The scrum half was again on hand to pick up at the back of a ruck and cross the line to score a further try, but the visitors drew level before half time when left winger Nick Redwood scored, fly half Jon Linekar's only success of the day giving them a slim two point lead.

The second half saw heavy rain added to the gusting wind and understandably handling mistakes were plentiful, but Park at last combined well in the backs and a fine break by centre Matt Cozens put winger John James over between the posts for an excellent score. Warren Hunt adding the goal for what seemed to be the winning score at 17-12 until Orrell right wing Mike Wall scored the levelling try, the game finishing with honours even, perhaps a just result given the efforts of both sided in appalling conditions.

By Eric Briers & George Baldry

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League table

    Pd Pts
1. Sale 26 130
2. New Brighton 26 91
3. Bowdon 26 79
4. Tyldesley 26 78
5. Wigan 26 74
6. Hoylake 26 68
7. Ashton-on-Mersey 26 55
8. West Park (St Helens) 26 54

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